We don’t know what intoxicant or drug may have impaired a wrong-way driver on the Everett Turnpike last Friday night week. But the result — two young lives lost — is another reminder of what a potentially deadly weapon we wield whenever we get behind the wheel.
The wrong-way driver, Vincent Forgione of Windham, was just 24. The other driver, Elizabeth Croke of Merrimack, was just 20. Their lives were senselessly cut short.
It makes us think that a legislative bill being backed by New Hampshire law enforcement is a good idea. It would make an open container of marijuana in a motor vehicle subject to the same criminal penalties as those for having an open can of beer or bottle of liquor.
The current open container penalty is an effort to discourage drinking while driving. That is also the intent of Senate Bill 60. A violation would result in a $150 fine and, at a judge’s discretion, the suspension of the driver’s license.
The marijuana lobby sees this as an attack on its efforts to decriminalize pot. Tuftonboro Police Chief Andrew Shagoury begs to differ. “This is not about criminalizing marijuana, not about punishing therapeutic marijuana. It’s about safety on the roads.”
An objection to the bill came from users of therapeutic pot. They worry that having to put their pot into a car’s trunk on a hot day will melt their gummy bears before they get home from the dispensary. We suggest they find a cooler. Better a bag of ice for the pot than a body bag for an innocent young life.